Photo by Brandon Nottingham
Locust Hill is the place of what’s happening now. The business has grown from family home, to B&B, Cabin, Pub and Restaurant, and now it has a new dining venue – the Outdoor Cafe. Pictured at left, l to r: Chelsea Walker, Locust Hill owner Paula Zorn, Chelsey Gum and Erica Beverage enjoy the newly refurbished outdoor dining space

Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer

You just never know what you’re going to find at Locust Hill Inn, Cabin, Pub and Restaurant. Owners Dave and Paula Zorn are constantly changing and expanding to meet the needs of their guests and the community.

What started as a home, soon became a Bed and Breakfast, Cabin, Pub, Restaurant, and, now, there is the Outdoor Café – a pavilion for dining and other events.

Paula is originally from Oklahoma, and Dave is originally from Buffalo, New York.

“We met in Oklahoma,” Paula said, “and we knew we wanted to open up some kind of business, but we just couldn’t find the right place. So we moved around a lot. We went from Oklahoma to New Hampshire, then to Wytheville, Virginia – to Buffalo, and finally on to St. Louis.

“We were looking for either cabins or a Mom and Pop hotel.”

The Zorns, who both have degrees in Exercise Physiology, and are massage therapists, were working at a wellness center and spa in St. Louis, when someone came in and told them to check out West Virginia, because it was an up and coming tourism state.

“We decided to go to Buffalo to visit some family,” Paula said, “and we got on Rt. 219 right outside of Buffalo, and just drove all the way here to check it out. When we finally got here, Dave looked at me and said ‘This is the place. It’s got everything we have ever talked about; changing seasons, there’s hiking, biking, canoeing, skiing, everything we talked about.’ I told him there weren’t any people, and he looked at me and said ‘We’ll bring people!’

“As soon as we got here and pulled into the driveway, we both instantly fell in love with it. We decided that the house was too big for just two of us to live in, so we decided to turn it into a bed and breakfast. We gutted the entire thing, making the basement our living space, and making sure that all of the rooms had their own bathrooms. There are four rooms total, two of which sleep four people, and two of which sleep two people. That was our first step.

“Then our next step was to build the cabin in 2006. It can sleep five people, and it’s nice to have that kind of privacy – in your own cabin. Then we opened the restaurant portion four years ago. Last year, we had a wedding here for the first time, and we are already booked for another wedding and three rehearsal dinners, so we started looking into doing some renovating. After the rehearsal dinner last year, they all went outside and built a bonfire and played horseshoes, and just sort of hung out and relaxed. And that really got us thinking about fixing up our outside area. Dave had built a small pavilion out back for our personal use, but it wasn’t a professional job.

“So we tore that down and had Dave Smith come out this spring and build us a nice outdoor pavilion area. And it makes for a nice outdoor place to eat and hang out with friends and family. We call it our ‘Outdoor Cafe.'”

The Zorns hope to soon add a flat-screen TV so guests can watch football and other sports. They also plan to host movie nights there.
The new venue was tested recently when local band Half-Step Down played there to a crowd of about 80 people. Everyone agreed that it was a lot of fun.

The Zorns also provide shuttle service for their guests, and motorcyclists are welcome. They are open seven days a week for guest services, and the restaurant is open Thursday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visit them on Facebook, call 304-799-5471, or check out their website for events, pricing and other info at http://www.locusthillwv.com